Monday Musings ~ Just Be.

Laughing Buddhas Just BeI am a “doer”, a doer of things, often attempting to do them all at one time. Writing this post is an example of what happens when I try to “just be”. I was attempting to meditate for a few minutes, follow my breath, in and out, just “be” in my body.

“Oh, you should blog about that,” a voice in my head says in the middle of my breathing. And so I reach for my laptop thinking, “I’ll just jot a few notes in WordPress and then get back to my meditation”.  Guess what – I’m still typing…oh, and drinking coffee because this habitual “doer” requires massive amounts of caffeine!

Our western culture rewards “doers”. Our media and brands say, “Just do it”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “just do something, anything!”
So what of “being”? Can we even grasp the concept of such a state in our western culture?

Recently, I read an article where Buddhist Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, was quoted as saying, “Focus on the practice of being.” I was intrigued by the words: Focus and practice. I lack both. I need to “do” both of those things. Nhat Hanh went on to say, “Be peace. Be joy. Be happiness. Be compassionate. Be attentive.” He talks about the energy that emanates from individuals who inhabit this state of “being”. Not surprisingly, he said, “we are drawn to such people.”

As I read the article and his words, I was reminded of the Taoist concept of “effortless effort”. Indeed, there is some action and practice required to live in a state of “effortless being”. I know I will forever be a doer of things, but I am hopeful that through focus and practice, I can achieve balance – a way of “being and doing” in this world, that radiates peace, joy, happiness, and compassion.

Have a magical Monday my fellow travelers! ~ Namaste

Poetrys~ A Season of Bees

Art & Poem by Sue Viseth

Art & Poem by Sue Viseth

when seasons conspire
and nature prepares
the artist is antsy
with bees in her hair!

when spring awakens
upon mother earth
the artist paints seeds
sowing fields of rebirth

when long days of sun
warm oceans and tides
the artist of summer
portrays vibrant red skies 

when autumn winds whirl
and aspen leaves quake
so potent with color
the artist partakes

when winter snow falls
and  forests stand bare
the artist confined
within walls, beware!

when seasons conspire
time does not dare
stand still for the artist
with bees in her hair!

A Season of Bees Pic 2

Monday Musing ~ How to Survive the Loss of a Love

How to survive the loss of a loveCan a book save your life? I can only speak from my own experience and what I know is this: a little book entitled, How to Survive the Loss of a Love, by Melba Colgrove, Harold Bloomfield, and Peter McWilliams, saved my life.

The year I turned twenty-three, my life changed forever. My dreams of a fairytale love and a happily- ever-after life were shattered. My marriage of only three years was over; the man I loved was gone.

My heart was filled with so much sorrow I could barely function. I lost count of how many nights I lay crying on the bathroom floor in my small apartment. On one of those nights, I reached for a book a friend had given me with instructions to: “Read this when you cry.” And so I did, night after night, through tear soaked eyes – I read the little book. Then I read it again, and again.

Slowly, over many months and countless readings from the little book, and the support of family, my heart began to heal.

How to Survive the Loss of a Love, is only 120 pages, half of those pages are short, heartfelt poems. For me, the book validated my feelings, explained the process of grief, healing and, most importantly, celebrated the ultimate growth that emerges from having suffered and survived.

Since my healing all those years ago, I have given countless copies of this book to family and friends grieving the loss of a love. I want to share a few poems in the book, written by the authors. These poems resonated for me then, and still speak to my heart:

On grief:

Grief is a quiet thing
Deadly in repose
A raging horror, a thunder of abuse
Raucous –
Demanding-
Incomprehensible –
Tearing all that one has ever loved.
Hopeless,
Forlorn,
Fear-ridden and misunderstood;
Ceasing a moment, and through the years
Returning…to destroy.
To rage,
To curse all that is happy –
Or contented,
Or trusting.
To threaten every beauty this is true
Grief?
It’s a quiet thing.

On Healing:

I hope I heal soon. I want to enjoy autumn.

and this one,

One thing I forgot:
After the pain of parting
Comes the happiness of healing.
Rediscovering life, friends, self.
Joy.

On survival:

I loved
Which was purgatory
I lost
Which was hell
And I survived
Heaven!

Through all my tears and suffering, a transformation was underway. I couldn’t see it at the time, but I can see it clearly now. I survived and grew stronger for the experience. I lived to love another day! I also developed great empathy for those who have suffered and survived the loss of a love.

Some thirty years later, I am happy to say, I found my happily-ever-after.  Life is good. Right here, right now.

Make it a magical Monday my friends! ~ Namaste

Poetry ~ Words of Time

Words of Time Pic

old words they see
the writers of time
flower the pages
and mask them in rhyme

take care and take notice
and read line by line
of all that’s not said
over history and time

the words not yet spoken
never whispered aloud
find their way to the pages
but hide from the crowd

these truths are eternal
beyond space and time
no mortal be bothered
these riddles unwind

lest the words point the way
and the way be known
all who wander and wonder
the way would be shown

no words can contain
the truth from within
to each it is known
from where to begin

look not for the master
the key to the door
the light is left on
your purpose to soar

don’t trouble your thoughts
with questions of time
or the voices that whisper
and rattle your mind

the observer within
watches and waits
your own free will
reveals your fate

your story now written
in the stars it takes hold
aware in the knowledge
that all is not told

a realization bestowed
upon your last days
that a life fully lived
is worthy of praise

and so you release
lay down your pen
into the heavens
your story ascends

Poetry By Sue

Monday Musings ~ The 10 1/2 Inclinations

The 10 12 Inclinations
I have a unique list I want to share with you. The list contains ten and one-half inclinations – sounds mysterious doesn’t it? Although the list is intended for children, I think you will want to take heed of its message.
I stumbled upon the list while reading, A Time for New Dreams, a book of essays by Ben Okri,  an award-winning Nigerian poet and novelist.  Among his many thought-provoking essays I discovered the “The 10 1/2 Inclinations”.
Okri had been asked by the Royal Society of Literature to recommend the top ten books that children should read before leaving school. Okri rebelled, and instead submitted the following:

 “The 10 1/2 Inclinations”

1 ~There is a secret trail of books meant to inspire and enlighten you. Find that trail.

2 ~ Read outside your nation, color, class, gender.

3 ~ Read the books your parent’s hate.

4 ~ Read the books your parent’s love.

5 ~ Have one or two authors that are important, that speak to you; and make their works your secret passion.

6 ~ Read widely, for fun, for stimulation, for escape.

7 ~ Don’t read what everyone else is reading. Check them out cautiously, later.

8 ~ Read what you’re not supposed to read.

9 ~ Read for your own liberation and mental freedom.

10 ~ Books are like mirrors. Don’t just read the words. Go into the mirror. That is where the real secrets are. Inside. Behind. That’s where the gods dream, where our realities are born.

10 1/2 ~  Read the world. It is the most mysterious book of all.

Have a magical Monday my fellow readers! ~ Namaste

Poetry ~ The Tuning Inn

The Tuning Inn 2

marked on the map
is the place you must go
where words of the world
put on quite a show

winding roads and steep hills
through the valleys you speed
your destination ahead
tuning in is your need

a manor of grandeur
does focus your mind
as you draw near
to what you must find

the door is swung open
no key is required
for this weary traveler
a quaint place to retire

take tea in the parlor
relax with the guests
your mind feels the pull
and the weight of the quest

escape the mundane
seek truth and aspire
now ready your pen
engage and inspire

open your mind and
prepare to receive
the message is clear
relax and believe

when the channel is open
and what you perceive
is the gift of creation
you may take your leave

bid a final farewell
to your hosts at the Inn
come again anytime
when you need to tune in

Poetry By Sue